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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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A review into the cemetery and crematoria sector has identified that Greater Sydney is running out of burial space. 


The review recommended that cemeteries be assessed as State Significant Development (SSD).


The department is proposing changes that would see large-scale new and expanded cemeteries assessed as SSD. Larger scale cemeteries have the potential to make a substantial contribution to resolving the shortage of burial space in Greater Sydney.


These changes would mean larger cemetery development proposals would be recognised in the same way as other key social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, through the SSD assessment pathway.


Why focus on cemeteries?

There is a finite amount of space remaining in existing cemeteries, particularly within Greater Sydney. The unmet demand for burial space is forecast to continue to grow, resulting in a critical shortage of burial space requiring immediate action. 


The NSW Government commissioned a comprehensive review of the cemeteries and crematoria sector which identified a forecast shortage or burial space. The review also identified an opportunity for the NSW planning system to assist in the timely delivery of new cemetery development by identifying cemeteries as SSD.


We are proud to have rich cultural diversity across NSW. Without additional burial space, families and communities may be unable to bury loved ones following varied cultural and religious beliefs.


What are the changes? 

An Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) is currently on exhibition and sets out the proposed changes to Schedule 1 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 (SRD SEPP) to enable new or expanded cemeteries with a minimum of 20,000 burial plots to be considered as SSD.


The EIE was informed by the findings of the review into the cemeteries and crematoria sector in consultation with key industry, local government and agency stakeholders. 


The proposed changes will ensure the planning system acknowledges the important role of cemeteries as key social infrastructure and facilitate the timely delivery of new and expanded cemeteries through SSD. 


Have your say 

We welcome your feedback on the proposed changes to introduce cemeteries as state significant development during the public exhibition from 12 October until 24 November 2021.


Please submit your feedback using the online form at our Planning Portal.


Make a submission on the Planning Portal


More information

For more information about the proposed amendments, you can email the team if you have any questions.

Page last updated: 15/10/2021